Success Story

Researchers encouraged to take ideas from the lab to the marketplace

Penn State’s I-Corps Short Course is accepting applications for its June cohort. The no-cost program helps researchers test a startup idea through customer discovery and lean startup methodology. The cohort will begin on June 9 and runs through June 23.  

Apply for the short course by June 2. 

The NSF I-Corps program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, starting a business or industry requirements and challenges. Participants learn valuable skills in connecting with customers, asking the right questions, and how to find partners to help get startup ideas off the ground. Through I-Corps training, researchers can reduce the time it takes to translate a promising idea from the laboratory to the marketplace.  

The short course will expose participants to key stakeholders and funding resources in the entrepreneurship community, increase chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award, and put participants in an excellent position to apply for the National I-Corps Program.  

Penn State electrical engineering and computer science Ph.D. candidate Taiting Lu participated in the spring 2023 NSF I-Corps short course program to dive into the customer discovery process for his smart sensing ring technology, OmniRing. The research team hopes to participate in the National I-Corps program this summer. 

“I would definitely recommend the short course to other researchers,” Lu said. “It would be a good starting point if you have a product and research funding and a prototype. It gives you a lot of experience, and you can learn how to bring the technology from the lab to real life.” 

Read more about Lu’s I-Corps experience.  

Penn State teams are also welcome to apply to other regional short course offerings from the broader region. Contact the Penn State NSF I-Corps Program Manager, Derek Gross, to find the best solution for your team.  

Learn more about NSF I-Corps at Penn State.  

About NSF I-Corps   

Penn State University is part of the NSF I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Hub, a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and other federal agencies. Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the United States.